Kuelap is the name of a former stronghold of the Chachapoyas and a village, situated high above the valley of the river Utcubamba, near Chachapoyas, in the province of Luya in the northern Peruvian Andes.

The village of Kuelap ( about 2900 m above sea level., District Tingo ) is one of the poorest in the region.

In the village there is a fortress that housed over 300 on three floors situated individual houses. Archaeologists are not quite sure whether it was a permanently inhabited village in the fortress or the inhabitants of the surrounding villages retreated there only in an emergency. They refer to the area within a radius when the area with perhaps the highest density of undiscovered and unexplored " places of historical interest " in all of South America.



The fortress was built in 800 and 1300 AD in the years and could accommodate up to 2000 people. It was rediscovered in 1843 by Don Juan Crisóstomo Nieto, a Chachapoyas judge. The ruin complex is located in the north- south length 580 meters long and the largest width in the east-west direction is 110 meters. At the points at which it is not anyway is a very steep slope, it is secured with an up to 21 meters high wall. Admission is only possible through one of the three tall, but extremely narrow, inputs, can pass through the, for strategic reasons, only one person. The main entrance is so constructed that the enemy ought to penetrate, he can be thrown directly to the output again, which is directly opposite.

In the various floors of the fortress different social classes were located, which can be seen in the decoration of houses with typical Chachapoyas elements and patterns. On the top floor, the " Castillo ", probably lived the nobility; the " upper village" was inhabited by members of the military. In the " lower village " to find simple houses, often built. The structure of the division of space with kitchen and millstone is in some places still visible. In the center of the fortress is also mentioned a square house, which dates back probably to the Incas, as the Chachapoyas have traditionally built their homes around. It is believed that it was used to assemblies of the same social class.


On the north and south sides of the fort is bounded by guard towers, from which one can recognize which go back to the now existing villages in the vicinity of the Chachapoyas. From the watchtowers you have a look at almost all the villages in the area, including at La Jalca, the place where the Chachapoyas probably first wanted to settle down and in its vicinity are among many archaeological sites also decorated with Chachapoyas symbols Church place from the 16th century.

El Tintero

El Tintero on German inkwell, is one of the great mysteries Kuelaps because until now no one can say for sure, for which he has served. The building is so named because it is similar to an ink bottle that tapers from top to bottom. As the design came about is not clear. Meanwhile, they must be supported by all sides in order not to collapse. Inside the " Tintero " bones were found by predators. There are numerous theories, for which it might have served. Some say he would have been used for torture purposes, as a prison or the death penalty, others consider it an observatory, as to meet the light rays from some cracks on certain important days in the middle.

Since Kuelap is not as famous as Machu Picchu, the funds go even sparse. The construction workers and archaeologists from the INC ( " instituto nacional de cultura ", National Institute of Culture ) who are entrusted with the restoration of the fortress, probably work with the same means as the Chachapoyas, namely with wooden frames and muscle strength; There is no electricity in the village of Kuelap. Although the House of archaeologists has a generator, but the water supply is also not very reliable. The road ends about a kilometer before the fortress in the " Malca ", shortly after the village Quisango. From there we proceed only on foot or on mules after Kuelap.